When it comes to our dental hygiene, most of us know the obvious guidelines: brush, floss and check in every six months. What many of us are not aware of are the not-so-obvious behaviors that can be hazardous to our teeth. Our day-to-day habits can sometimes present us with pitfalls that could be damaging to an otherwise healthy smile. To catch you up to speed, here are four behaviors that can be damaging to your teeth that you may not be aware of.
1. Using your teeth as a tool
Sure, your teeth may be more convenient to use when needing something sharp to tear open plastic, bite your nails or loosen a cap, but their convenience doesn’t make your fragile teeth a safe choice! The tip of your tooth is quite thin, so using it as a sharp edge makes you more vulnerable to breakage, tooth loss and even gingivitis! Even the healthiest of teeth can be damaged when being used to bite, chew or tear at anything other than food. If using your teeth in this way has become a habit, make sure to break the habit before you break your teeth.
2. Too many caffeine fixes
Many of our Krengel Dental patients are surprised to find out that too much caffeine can cause a lot of harm to your teeth. As a stimulant, caffeine tends to dry out the mouth, making us more susceptible to tooth decay. Because caffeine reduces the production of saliva, there is less saliva to help clear out bacteria building up in our mouth. Limiting caffeine and making sure to hydrate are two ways to combat this tooth hazard.
3. Too much of a good thing
While overdoing brushing is a lot less common than the alternative, it is true that being overzealous about brushing can actually be more harmful than helpful. Brushing more than 3 times a day regularly with a tough-bristled brush can eventually contribute to receding gums while wearing away tooth enamel. Be sure to have a soft-bristled brush and to brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum-line so that your healthy brushing habit isn’t turning into a hazard.
4. Getting your grind on
When there is no shortage of stressors around us, it is easy to store all of that tension in your body in areas like your jaw, and unfortunately, your teeth may pay a price. Grinding or clenching our teeth is something many of us do without even realizing it– in fact sometimes, a sore jaw is the first sign we notice. Constantly grinding or clenching your teeth can lead to significant erosion and sometimes can even cause your teeth to chip and crack. If you are someone who struggles with teeth grinding or clenching, give us a call (952-888-1311) so that you can talk to your Krengel Dental dentist about ways to prevent damage.
While biting bad habits is never easy, we care about your teeth, your health and your wallet and want you to be aware of what might get in your way. As always, we are here to take care of you and your family’s dental care, so give us a call today to schedule your six-months check up or to ask questions about our services.